Lawmakers Push for SE Kansas Gambling

Lawmakers Push for SE Kansas Gambling

ICTMN Staff
1/4/11

Two Kansas legislators want to rewrite a 2007 law to allow the Kansas Lottery to operate a casino in four areas of southeast Kansas, reported the Associated Press. The same law will allow for three racetrack slot machines.

State Reps. Bob Grant, of Cherokee, and Doug Gatewood, of Columbus, both Democrats, proposed a bill that would decrease the required investment for a casino in the area to $225 million from $100 million and boost the share of slots revenues for the owner of Camptown Greyhound Park.

Many southeast Kansas officials who are longtime proponents of legalized gambling and view it as economic development, are frustrated their area has yet to benefit from the casino and slots law.

"We voted to have gaming in southeast Kansas. Why can't we get it?" Grant said to the AP. "It seems like we've been the unwanted stepchild down here."

Grant and Gatewood drafted a narrow bill to appeal to legislators opposed to legalized gambling who would like to repeal the 2007 law.

But Senate Majority Leader Jay Emler, a Lindsborg Republican, doubts the approach will work.

"If all the legislation is going to do is focus on one little area of the state, I don't see it getting enough support to pass one house, let alone, two," said Emler, who said he'd vote against a narrow measure, according to the AP.

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